Men's ice hockey news
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Vikings open season vs. Bradley (9/7/11)
The Vikings will take on the Braves from Bradley University this weekend at the River's Edge Sports Center in Davenport. Augie looks to come out strong in only their second season on the ice this weekend. However the matches will prove to be tough as the reigning MACHA conference champions will surely bring their "A" game. Come cheer on your Vikings at 7:45 pm Friday night, and 2:00 pm Saturday afternoon.
2011-12 Schedule has been released (8/1/11)
The Augustana Vikings hockey team has released their schedule for the coming season. The schedule features many rematches from last year which the Vikings hope to capitalize on in their second season on the ice. Augie opens the season with a series at home against a strong Bradley University team on September 9th and 10th.
Vikings drop four series to close out the fall term (11/28/10)
The Augustana College hockey team closed out their first term dropping four series to the likes of Western Illinois, Marquette, Bradley and Illinois State. The eight straight losses put the Vikings at 1-15 on the season.
On October 15th and 16th the Vikings took on the Western Illinois Leathernecks. Augie ended up losing both matches in the series by the scores of 5-1 and 9-2. The Vikings will look to avenge these losses when they play the Leathernecks again in January.
The Vikings were then on the road, spending Halloween weekend up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to take on the Marquette Golden Eagles. Again, Augustana lost the two game series, despite finding more firepower. Augie’s Connor Bartholomew had a team high five points for the weekend, followed closely by Jim McSpadden’s four, one coming by way of a penalty shot goal. The final scores for the series were 12-4 and 9-4.
Following a stressful finals week and the end of the term the Vikings were on the road again, this time taking on the Bradley Braves in Peoria, Illinois. Despite being able to commute for both games and sleep in their own beds the Vikings seemed to be in slow motion this weekend. Augie ended up losing both contests 8-3 and 14-2. An even larger setback occurred in the first match of the series when leading scorer Connor Bartholomew was the victim of a boarding penalty, resulting in a broken collar bone. Connor will have to sit out with four to six weeks of recovery ahead of him. The lone bright spot in the series was the efforts of junior Kyle Davis, who had one goal and three points in the first game. The Vikings also welcomed back their three multi-sport athletes as their respective fall sports seasons had concluded at this point, John McSpadden (Soccer), Bennett Welser (Football), Alec Welser (Football).
Coming back from fall break early, the Vikings then took on the Illinois State Redbirds at home. Despite closer score margins the series resulted in two losses, 7-4 and 7-1. In the first game junior Marko Loncar, freshman Alec Welser, junior Kyle Davis, and freshman Jeff Morris each tallied a goal. The second games lone goal came from sophomore John McSpadden’s efforts in the crease. Senior Jim McSpadden led the team in points for the weekend with four assists.
The Vikings have found it hard being the new kid on the block and have yet to find a second victory for the season. Despite the losing streak the team is optimistic about their final games of 2010 versus the Eastern Illinois Panthers, set for December 10th and 11th.
Vikings set to host Western Illinois (10/14/10)
This weekend the Western Illinois “Leathernecks” will travel to the Quad Cities to take on the Vikings. The series will be WIU’s first two games of the season, compared to Augustana’s 9th and 10th. Augie will look to capitalize on this in the hopes of adding to their win category. However Augie isn’t taking this regional foe lightly. Western is returning the core of last year’s team, along with adding some strong freshmen. The Vikings look forward to a tough series with Western Illinois. The games are slated for Friday, October 15th at 7:45pm and Saturday, October 16th at 4:45 at the River’s Edge Sports Center in Davenport, Iowa.
NCAA or ACHA hockey? Lebanon Valley and Penn State make transition (10/13/10)
Few schools offer NCAA ice hockey, which has allowed club hockey, governed by the American Collegiate Hockey Association, to thrive. The ACHA currently boasts over 375 men’s and women’s teams across the country. The number of NCAA ice hockey programs is significantly lower, for example at the men’s division one level there are less than 60 institutions offering the sport. Unlike many other “club” sports and leagues there is a strong link between both NCAA and ACHA hockey. Recently two programs have made the jump between the two.
This season Lebanon Valley College will enter their first season in the ACHA. The Dutchmen have competed at the NCAA division three level for the last 15 years. (full story)
Penn State University is also looking to make a move, but the opposite way. After being an ACHA power for countless years it was made clear that PSU intends to move up to NCAA division one ice hockey for the 2012-2013 season. Penn State’s ascension was made possible by the largest private financial gift in school history. (full story)
Professional ranks still possible after college club hockey (10/13/10)
The past few season Mike Sellito has played for Florida Gulf Coast University. This season Mike will be lacing up his skates for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers. The Tigers play in the American Hockey League, which is the top minor league, directly feeding into the NHL. Bridgeport is affiliated with the New York Islanders. (full story)
Two losses in home opener (10/12/10)
October 8th and 9th was homecoming weekend for the Vikings campus wide. The Augustana hockey program held its first home games in school history; it was also homecoming for the Viking football team. However both programs faired a similar fate. Both teams sadly lost their respective contests. The football team lost to North Central College, and the hockey dropped both games in their series with the University of Iowa.
With all of the excitement surrounding homecoming and that it was the first home hockey game for Augustana the atmosphere couldn’t have been better Friday night. With strong student support, as well other fans for both teams it was hard not to notice the crowd. The scoring started quick with the Hawkeyes netting one first. However the Vikings bounced back quick burying one of their own. The remainder of the first period was back and forth. A total of six goals were scored after twenty minutes, with the score even 3 to 3. However it seemed that that was all Augie could muster, as it was all Iowa from then on. After two the Vikings were still close, trailing 5 to 3. The third period was much of the same, with Iowa coming out on top 7 to 3.
The rink was a little quieter the second game of the series, with most of the Augustana College fans attending the football game. The Saturday afternoon game wasn’t without fanfare though, as the Augustana men’s choir sang a brilliant rendition of the anthem (anthem video). The Vikings also wanted to avenge the previous night’s loss. Again Iowa was on the board first and it looked like the Augie would be heading to the dressing room two down. However, late in the first freshman Connor Bartholomew stole the show. Defenseman Brady Perkins’ long breakout pass found Bartholomew at the far blue line, which left him to go in all alone with the Iowa keeper. Connor’s shot beat the goalie stick side to bring the score to 2 to 1. Augie goaltender Bronson Kurek received the second assist on the play, passing it to Perkins. Then with less than a minute left on the board in the first Bartholomew lit the lamp again. Captain Jim McSpadden’s pass split the Iowa defense and again Conner was in all alone with the Iowa goalie, roofing a snapshot stick side. The second period was hard fought but neither team could put the puck in the net and after forty minutes the game was still tied at two a piece. The Vikings entered the ice for the third, looking for the win and series split. However Augie’s ten skaters were no match for Iowa’s full bench. After a scoring frenzy late in the third, the game ended with Iowa winning 7 to 2.
Although the score lines were not in the Vikings favor, they were pleased with the overall showing and support, both on and off the ice. With the close proximity of the two schools a Hawkeye and Viking rivalry may be in the works. Next weekend Augustana will take on the Western Illinois “Leathernecks” at home.
Series preview vs. Iowa Hawkeyes (10/7/10)
This weekend the Augustana Vikings will take on the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. Augie will be trying to build off of their first win in program history last Saturday. The Vikings will also try to take advantage of the fact that Iowa has only played four games so far this season. Iowa has managed to split both their series, with a season record of 2-2-0, having played Missouri State and Illinois State. Augie freshmen Connor Bartholomew will look to continue his impressive scoring streak; Connor and his two first line teammates have accounted for 24 points so far this season. The Vikings will also look for contributions from the other lines, who continue to improve and have recently been putting points on the board. Freshman net minder Bronson Kurek will start again between the pipes for the Vikings and currently boasts a 0.863 save percentage. The match up will be Augustana’s first home hockey game in history and with the close proximity of the schools there should be quite a buzz in the rink.
Vikings Split; Record first win in program history (10/6/10)
This past weekend the Augustana Vikings traveled to Wheaton, Illinois to take on their school rival, the Wheaton College Thunder. The Vikings managed to split the closely contested series, dropping a heartbreaker in front of a packed house Friday night 7 to 6. However the Vikings managed to rebound in the Saturday contest by the score of 5 to 4, winning in overtime and recording the first ‘W’ in program history!
Chicago hockey fever clearly has clearly hit Wheaton, as was evident by the bleachers filled with Wheaton College orange and navy for the Friday night game. Augustana did have a strong spectator showing as well, with a majority of the team hailing from the Chicago land area, many player’s family and friends made the trek out to Center Ice of DuPage arena. The game was a fierce contest, with the score constantly swinging back and forth between the Vikings and Thunder. Two newcomers to the points category for Augie were Defensemen Perkins and Panter. Sophomore Jon Panter recorded a beautiful slap-shot goal from the point, assisted by freshman Brady Perkins. The goal put Augustana ahead on the scoreboard 4-3 with 18 minutes left in the second period. However Augie would not be able to stay on top, eventually falling 7-6 once all was said and done.
Not wanting a repeat of the previous night the Vikings came out hard for the second match Saturday evening. Again in a back and forth game, this time is was the Vikings who came out on top for their first win! Once more, there were new players recording their first points of the season. Freshman Drew Barnes hammered home a loose puck in front of the Wheaton keeper at 17:42 in the second, with assists coming from freshmen Ryan Hicks, and freshmen Mike Spehlman. At the end of regulation the score was even at 4-4. However it did not take long for the Vikings to come out victorious. Just 48 seconds into overtime, defensemen Alec Welser found winger Connor Bartholomew wide open, back door. Bartholomew perfectly one-timed the pass into the back of the net to end it. The score also continues Connor’s scoring streak, currently at five games. The series puts Augustana at 1-5-0 for the season. Up next for the Vikings are the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. The games will be the first home series in program history.
Wheaton Preview (9/30/10)
This weekend Augustana will be traveling to the suburbs to take on the Wheaton College Thunder. The Vikings are very excited for this match up, as it will be the first time the two schools have ever competed on the ice. For all other school athletics Augustana and Wheaton are members of the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW). The Vikings and Thunder have shared a strong rivalry in virtually any athletics contest the two face each other in, and until this season Wheaton has been the only CCIW school to field a hockey team. The series will be the first games of the year for the Thunder as well as being Wheaton College's homecoming weekend. The Augustana squad is still looking for that first win in program history and are hoping to capitalize in these contests. The games will be played at Center Ice of DuPage ice arena on Friday Oct. 1 at 8:30pm and Saturday Oct. 2 at 7:30pm.
AC Drops two in St. Louis (9/28/10)
With an even shorter bench than the previous weekend, the Vikings traveled the 5 hours to St. Louis, MO. to take on the Billikens. The story lines seemed to be the same for Augustana as with the last series. In the end it was Saint Louis who came out on top in both match ups by the scores of 10-1 Friday night, and 13-2 on Saturday afternoon. Saint Louis came out strong in both contests, taking the road weary Vikings by surprise.
Yet again goaltender Bronson Kurek posted unbelievable numbers in the saves category. After four games his saves percentage stands at a solid 0.863. Connor Bartholomew also managed to extend his scoring streak to three games, putting up a goal in each of the two verses SLU. A new comer to the points category is junior Kyle Davis, who had a goal and an assist. Kyle had a break out weekend, taking the body and putting points on the board, and seems to be getting back into the swing of things after two seasons away from hockey. Freshman Drew Barnes also gained his first two points in his first two games, assisting one of Bartholomew's and Davis' goals. Next up for Augustana is yet another away series against school rival Wheaton College. The Vikings will take on the Thunder this Friday and Saturday at Center Ice in Glen Ellyn, IL.
Vikings, Billikens pre-game (9/23/10)
The Vikings will be on the road once again this weekend to take on the Billikens of Saint Louis University. As will be the case with many of the Viking’s early season matchups, only a small contingent of the team will be able to make the journey to the gateway city. Nevertheless Augustana is looking to put up some numbers on the scoreboard and the wins column after losing two in the season opening series to Purdue.
A strong Saint Louis squad is coming to play and hoping to build off of their previous weekends split with the University of Illinois. Saint Louis split the series against the Illini, winning 4-3 and dropping the other 3-2, both in overtime. The Billikens are also 2-1-1 in the young 2010-11 season. Augustana looks to capitalize on their chances in their second series of the year and continue to ride the strong play of freshman net minder Bronson Kurek, and the points leader Connor Bartholomew.
Rough weekend for the upstart Vikings (9/20/10)
It was a rough start for the Vikings hockey squad as they dropped two games to the Purdue Boilermakers. The Vikings were extremely short handed for the weekend series, with a number of players having to miss the two games due to conflicts with their other fall sport schedules. Nevertheless the Augie squad represented the college well in the first games of Augustana College hockey history.
In a packed house the Friday contest was lost by the score of 13-0. It was clearly a case of a shorthanded, inexperienced team competing against a well established program. Both teams came out strong, wanting to make an impression and get a good start to their young seasons. However after sixty minutes of play it was Purdue who clearly had the upper hand in the contest. Purdue outshot the Vikings 72 to 15 and the evidence was clearly on the scoreboard that they were the stronger team in this game. Augustana did have its stand out moments in the match, especially the play of freshman goaltender Bonson Kurek. Throughout the game there were whispers in the stands about who this impressive keeper was. Kurek was relentlessly peppered with shots and managed to turn away an astounding 59 shots in game.
With a game under their belt the Vikings wanted to come out for a better showing in the second game of the series. The final result for the Saturday afternoon match was a 9-2 loss for the Vikings. Regardless of the score there were many more positive signs for Augustana. The Vikings managed to play with the Boilermakers for two periods before their short bench and fatigue got the best of them. After the first period the score was tied 2-2 and after forty minutes the Vikings were only down 5-2. The first goal in Augustana College hockey history was scored halfway through the first period by junior Marko Loncar low in the slot, beating the goalie between his legs off of a nice feed by sophomore John McSpadden. The goal tied the game up at one a piece. Later on in the first Augustana managed to add another when senior Jim McSpadden’s long pass beat the two Purdue defensemen and found streaking freshman Connor Bartholomew. All alone with the goaltender, Connor managed to burry a nifty backhanded shot in the top of the net. Augie keeper Bonson Kurek also had another stellar game as Augustana was outshot again by a large margin. Augustana is still optimistic on the season despite the two losses. Next weekend the Vikings will take on the Saint Louis University Billikens in St. Louis Missouri.
Vikings set to take the ice (9/14/10)
The Vikings hit the ice two weeks ago in preparation for their inaugural season and now the time has come. The players are anxiously awaiting their first test under the Augie banner when they travel to take on Purdue University. The two game series will take place this weekend on Friday, September 16th and Saturday, September 17th at 7:00 pm and 2:00 pm, respectively, in Kankakee, Illinois at the OAK Sports Arena (1601 River Rd. Kankakee, IL 60901).
The Purdue Boilermakers are coming into the season off of an 18-6-1 campaign in 2009-10. Purdue also has two matches under their belt coming off of last weekend’s 9-3 and 8-2 wins over Kansas University. Many veterans are making their return for the Boilermakers as well as a strong contingent of new freshmen.
Coach O’Dacre’s Vikings will have to battle it out this weekend with a shortened roster. Many players will be missing the bout while they are participating in other fall sports this weekend. The Vikings will also be missing winger Luc Bibeau who suffered an unfortunate injury this past week at practice. Nevertheless, the Vikings will look to capitalize in this early season match up and are excited for the opportunity to compete against an experienced Purdue squad.
Augie Hockey Summer Update (6/25/10)
This summer has been a busy time so far for Augustana hockey. Coach O'Dacre has been hot on the recruiting trail, securing players for this fall. These incoming players are completing the enrolling and registration process. The team has also been busy booking practice ice times and game slots at both ice arenas in the Quad Cities. Another top priority has been securing sponsors and equipment for the team.
Most importantly, the team has updated its schedule! The majority of Augustana's inaugural season schedule has been fully booked. The Vikings will face many opponents throughout Illinois, as well as several out-of-state schools. So far the Vikings will face EIU, Purdue, SLU, Wheaton, Iowa, Bradley, Marquette, UWP, ISU, WIU, Northwestern, SIUE, and Palmer. To see all schedule information please visit the Schedule & Results page.
Augustana Hockey joins MACHA (3/6/10)
The Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association has granted Augustana College a probationary membership into their conference, allowing Augustana to begin play this fall. The Vikings have been granted a spot in the north division, pitting them against the likes of Wheaton College, Purdue, Marquette, Iowa, Northwestern and Illinois State. Games against these teams will constitute around half of the game schedule, along with many other non-conference games. Augustana hockey is excited for this opportunity to join such a strong conference with a long hockey history in the Midwest. To view other members of the MACHA and learn more please visit the Mid-America Collegiate Hockey Association website.
O'Dacre named head coach (1/20/10)
Augustana Hockey is pleased to announce the hiring of veteran hockey coach Paul O'Dacre. Coach O'Dacre will lead the Vikings in their first season in the fall of 2010. (more)